How Robert F. Smith Employs Relationships to Coordinate a Philanthropic Response to COVID-19

As the global health crisis gripped the country, Robert F. Smith recognized his unique ability to help coordinate a philanthropic response, at scale. 

“In times like this you have to think about the assets that you can truly leverage,” Smith said. “I have the great fortune of having relationships with very smart people. I’ve been on calls since five this morning.”

Smith worked with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to ensure that the local “capillary banking system” of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were included in the government’s Payment Protection Program (PPP), helping Black-owned small businesses gain access to these critical small business loans. 

As Chairman of Carnegie Hall, he’s been working to organize online concerts to help people “stay connected and alive and excited about who we are.” 

Read more about Smith’s philanthropic efforts in Town & County